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Mediterranean & Fusion Ensembles

March 13, 2017

The Performing Arts Music program is back at it again with two show stopping performances this weekend from our Mediterranean and Fusion Band & Rock ensembles, bringing interdisciplinary and worldly compositions to our audiences on campus. 

The Mediterranean Ensemble is represented by students from many of our diverse Schools and Colleges. For their winter concert this year they're performing a variety of songs from known classics like Edith Piaf's romantic and remarkable La Vie En Rose to Kalenin Bedenleri, a traditional Turkish folk song. All songs will be sung in their native languages, including French, Arabic, Italian, Hebrew, Turkish and Sanskrit. "We are fortunate that Philadelphia has a history of being the home to many renowned musicians of various Mediterranean ethnicities who enjoy working with us. This not only lends more authenticity to our performances but inspires the Ensemble members," said Director Bruce Kaminsky. For this year's concert Phyllis Chapell will contribute vocals and guitar, and Kenny Ulansey will perform on the saxophone.

The Fusion Band is comprised of students whose majors include Music Industry, Engineering, Computer Science, Accounting, Physics, Entrepreneurship, and Information Sciences, and is known for presenting unique renditions of memorable classics.  "I like to take a song done in one style and rearrange it for the Fusion Band in a different style," says Director Lynne Riley, "and this concert features just that with John Lennon’s Imagine inventively reimagined as salsa." In addition, they'll be performing Duke Ellington’s Caravan as soca and Walter Murphy’s Fifth of Beethoven, a very original, disco-era instrumental adaptation of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, arranged by undergraduate pianist Dan Perlman.

In their ninth year, the Mediterranean ensemble presents three concerts annually at the end of each semester. Next semester the ensemble will focus on music solely from Turkey, with student performers collaborating with members of the Turkish/Fusion group, Barakka. They're open to any student with an interest in performing music from Southern Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. No previous experience in this music is necessary. All instruments are welcomed. Percussionists can play on Drexel's wide assortment of traditional drums. For more information please contact Bruce Kaminsky, Mediterranean Ensemble Director,

The Fusion Band has been under the direction of Lynn Riley for 13 years, recording five CDs.  They are presently starting to record their 6th recording, due for release in Spring 2018. They perform a concert at the end of each term but perform dozens of times for a variety of on and off campus events throughout the year, including the Westphal College Graduation Ceremony, Drexel Alumni Days, The Berks Jazz Festival and a Gala Fundraiser for the Support Center for Child Advocates. Performance Scholarships are available for this ensemble and auditions are held on an as need basis. For more information contact Lynn Riley, Fusion Band Director, at

Fusion Band & Rock: Tues. March 14 // 7:30 PM // Mandell Theater // Free & open to the public 

Mediterranean:  Wed. March 15 // 7:30 PM // Mandell Theater // Free & Open to the public.